Grateful Dead Live at Capitol Theater on 1970-03-21
Mics balcony center 15' spread.
Source Information for The Usher's Tapes Tree:
"the person who is responsible for the bulk of the capitol theatre audience recordings is a fellow by the name of ken lee (not sure of his last name spelling). this is the
guy who was employed by howard stein (local ny area promoter of the time) my source is his brother in law, mark c (a long time dead head & quite a nice &
unassuming person) i owe mark a huge debt of gratitude.
ken's port chester masters were recorded on a sony cassette deck (don't have the 'model # or mic info) his positioning was generally center lodge with mic's mounted
on the rail. 3/21/70 had the mic's spaced at over 15 feet, and the recording bears out that information. 6/24/70 set#2 was mastered on a 120-minute cassette.
ken is reported to be very un-friendly and intimidating (6 foot 5 inches with a security guard attitude) he was at tompkins square park, nyc 6/67 and reported a ½ hour
dancin' in the street, fwiw. he recorded many local shows (queens college, all 4 stands at port chester, Manhattan center.etc. mark says he was doing this only for
himself and never did much of anything at all with his recordings. at port chester he had howard steins permission to tape, with the footnote of never letting them out.
so...marks older sister is married to this guy & he would occasionally let mark have tapes & mark was apparently pretty free with his copies over the years. most of
what circulates from gd @ port chester originated mainly from mark's 1st gen copies, not ken's masters. as time went on their relationship deteriorated (now they are
estranged) and ken literally & figuratively shut the door on mark.
marks last score from ken's tapes was back in 1986. when ken was out, mark & an instigating friend went armed with sony tc d5m's and recorded as much from the masters as they could get away with. ken arrived in the middle of all this and was outraged and shut it all down & proceeded to take all the copies (not all it turned out) mark told me that at that point in time, all the tapes he witnessed were badly in need of restoration (and this was back in 1986) i am sad to relay that even though these master still exist, there are rotting in un-kind hands it took me close to 2 years & many phone calls to hook up with mark, and then only for one day. things were haphazard & i taped what i could given the time i had on hand.
mark had 2 separate copies of 6/24/70 late show. the older copy he received with ken's blessing in the mid '70's, this was on a xl 2, no dolby, the fresher copy was from the incident in 1986. this was on a mx metal cassette and had a better frequency response, but there was a bad squeal & lisp on the right hand channel and proves the deterioration of the recording. i went with the older copy that was made when the master was in better condition set list has; nfa easy wind (very powerful), me & my uncle, dark star ikyr, then uncle johns band (which is not the encore, as they never leave the stage. the encore is an acoustic "swing low sweet chariot" it was mia, but I WILL get it 3/21/70 has never sounded this good. it's actually quite fantastic in spots. it's the best recording i've ever heard coming out of that room 11/5/70 is a powerful psychedelic feast. i could never sit through it before, because of the abysmal quality
i want to, and enjoy bringing pleasure to fellow music lovers. please let it be known i have zero tolerance for any suspicion, or dishonesty. criticism, on the other hand
i can handle fairly well. so give me a few days & i'll get seeds to someone who has already volunteered to handle the administration and decimation on deadlist. our 1970 caretaker, jim powell, will get cd's from me for his analysis
that's the story"
Subject: Sympathy for the audience recording #1
However, on top of that there are alot of great rare songs with 'Walking the Dog' and 'He Was A Friend of Mine' in the early show following with an amazing acoustic set in the late show.
However, on top of all this, this audience recording perfectly highlights the tribulations the band had to go through in 1970. With the audience calling out for 60s classics like 'Saint Stephen' and 'Dark Star', the band has to struggle to introduce their new folk material.
On top of this, the nature of how this very special audience recording even came to the public is yet another interesting aspect to this rare find.
And to say a little about audience recordings, the energy is always better than soundboard recordings. So many times I'm listening to a board and faintly hear clapping, with this recording when the crowd digs a song, you know about it and it puts it all in perspective.
I could go on about why I'm so enchanted by this recording, which is truly my personal favorite of 1970 but I'll finish by saying download and enjoy.
Follow the tour: 1970
Subject: In the Context of Audience Recordings...
I prefer this version to the other version. This version sounds like it's in stereo, the other one doesn't. The other version is sterile, this one is not. This version is not perfect, but it sounds better than the other one and it sounds much livelier.
I highly recommend downloading ALL the "audience" recordings of the Port Chester shows from 1970 and 1971. The recordings are not that bad and the DEAD play some incredilbe music at this venue.
The Dead must have liked the house, because you can hear it in their music when they played there.
The sound of these audience recordings gives the music an identity, like the flavor of a wine.
Don't look down your nose at these shows or any of the Port Chester audience recordings or you will be DEPRIVING yourself of some great SHOWS. These are the best "audience" recordings of the period that I have found so far. AND THEY ARE WORTH DOWNLOADING. It's 1970 whadaya-expect?
He was a Friend of Mine is haunting...the whole show is possessed with sounds from beyond this world...and some tape degradation, but...I guess that is what the other version is for...
I swear this is a great show, take it for what it is and don't judge the recording, listen to what is being said musically, and it is MIND BLOWING...
I swear you can sense the spirits at this show to this day through this recording. It's spooky. Walkin the Dog is smooth, one of the best verison of the song I've heard. Pigpen's influence no doubt, the SOUL of the band.
It sounds like you are sitting up in the balcony of the theater, the sound does reverberate but that is what it sounded like. BUT THE DEAD ARE FANTASTIC...The show is excellent.
If we had a clean recording of this show you wouldn't be able to download it for free, you'd have to BUY it; that is how good it is.
I am giving it 5 stars for "audience" recordings. I CAN'T GIVE PIGPEN ANYTHING LESS.
THANKS FOR THE LOVE. Acts of Kindness change the world for the BETTER.
Countless future generations will thank you. The show is worth listening to.
Subject: in between
Completists and such only for this one, I think.
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